When you’re in the thick of it; when you’re in the throws of a mind-bending decision or a painful circumstance that seems to have thrown your life off-kilter, how many wished people would refrain from giving you the Christian gift-package wrapped in cliches in an attempt to console you? “You need to pray harder.” “You’ll just have to dig deep and persevere.” I love this one: ”God’s just working on you.”
There have been those moment where I’ve found myself thinking, “here, have my tall glass of shut up!” Maybe you didn’t know what you wanted in your suffering, but that definitely wasn’t it. Sometimes true comfort comes through silence, through listening, through simply being present.
In Chapter 22, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar don’t offer comfort, but instead attempt to convince Job of his sins. This time it’s the social sin of neglecting the poor, the hungry, and the naked – none of which Job is guilty of.
Couple simple questions: Who are the people you interact with on a regular basis who are suffering emotional, mental, spiritual, or physical pain? What are some ways you can appropriately comfort them in their pain?
I heard Billy Graham share this a few years back and I can’t get it out of my head: “It is God’s job to judge, the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, and my job to love.”